In Australia if you are in debt there are a number of programs supported by the government and charities that can help you climb out of debt. These services, plans and different organisations are all committed to your financial well being for free.
Instead of approaching debt management businesses that will charge you a fee to get your financial house in order, try the free way first. It can get you out of debt faster and will not have to pay for it.
The government provides free financial counselling services for Australians including a free financial counsellor. As this service is entirely free, it should be the first thing you do when you get mired in debt. This free financial counselling can often point you in the direction of the rest of the services, plans and organisations in your area that may be able to help in your certain situation.
Free Legal Advice
Next, if you are threatened with losing your home, vehicle or other major assets through repossession or from a lien, you should immediately seek legal counsel. In ever territory and state free legal advice is available. By empowering yourself with the right legal advice you may be able to prevent creditors from taking certain assets.
Many industries like utilities, banking, telecommunications and others generally have an Ombudsman that oversees dispute resolution cases for consumers. If you are in debt and have not been able to work out a payment plan with a creditor often contacting the Ombudsman and starting a dispute can also block legal proceedings against you.
Most creditors are looking to get paid. If you are in debt with a creditor, often as long as you attempt to make a repayment plan and stick to it, they will take no further action. However, if you do not reach out to change the payment details and simply default on the payments, they feel you are more of a risk and may pursue collections or legal actions. A financial counsellor can help you with this.
These agreements are essentially a step down from Bankruptcy, allowing you to get some breathing room from your debt with effective payment plans and financial counselling. It stops your creditors from continually coming after you for payment, with some debts no longer payable after the agreement is over and some that are. The creditors often accept a lower sum that you can afford. Whilst this can be a good option for some, getting out of debt on your own through budgeting and repayment plan restructuring may be a better option.
Christians Against Poverty
Is the non-governmental organisation that provides free debt management services just like businesses in the private sector? The organisation is committed to helping those in poverty and debts enabling them to better their lives through education programs to teach budgeting to last a lifetime. The organisation is connected to churches in most major cities.
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission MoneySmart is a free money management website that offers tons of advice on budgeting, debt and money management. It offers tons of resources.
Find the right solution for yourself, but remember that getting out of debt is never completely painless. You may need to sacrifice in order to get back your financial health.